Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Thoughts Without Words: ACLU is destroying education

In my last post I mentioned briefly about the ACLU coming after our school. But I didn't say why. Apparently they are upset about us charging for AP tests and PE clothes. Whatever.

Well today we got more of the lawsuit. Apparently, AP teachers are no longer allowed to change grades based upon the result of the AP exam. This has been going on for a very long time at our school. The ACLU said it isn't fair because if a student can't pay for the test, then that student doesn't get a chance to get his/her grade changed. So our district said no for anyone.

Before anyone brings up Ed Code, I looked into it and yes this does seem to be in direct violation of Ed Code 49066
(a) When grades are given for any course of instruction
taught in a school district, the grade given to each pupil shall be
the grade determined by the teacher of the course and the
determination of the pupil's grade by the teacher, in the absence of
clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency,
shall be final.
However, this is coming from our district, which still needs to be a policy change, but it sounds like they are in the process of making it official. Now districts can modify ed code, as far as I know, and some already have.

It gets better. A student can be enrolled in an AP course, not take the test and still get the AP course on the transcript. AP teachers are frustrated and upset at our school, so it will be interesting to see what happens with these teachers and if they want to continue to teach those courses.

But wait! There's more. Apparently, the ACLU wants to go after our summer school program. Due to cuts, we had to start asking students to pay for classes if they wanted to get ahead, not make up mandated classes, just get ahead. Our district's lawyers have told us that if we get sued we would lose and have to pay all the students back for their fees. We have been doing this fee based summer school for a few years now.

One teacher brought up a great point though. If you don't need summer school and you are just getting ahead, how is that unfair? You can still graduate in plenty of time by not taking summer school.

So what are the ramifications on this one? Well we put through about 1500 students every summer. Those students then don't need to take those classes during the regular year. Well now they will. So we will need to add more sections of certain class. But how can we add sections when we are cutting sections due to budget cuts? This is a classic cluster-f@ck moment if I ever saw one.

I have no idea what the future of our high school is or public education in general is now. All I know is that the ACLU is killing us.


Reindeeralyn said...

When I was in AP classes, I never actually heard of anyone having their grade changed because of their AP score. To be honest, if you failed the AP test, you probably weren't doing well in the class anyway.

Mr. W said...

It seems to be standard practice now.

AP classes aren't what they once were. There is a push to get everyone into an AP class, so restrictions have all but been lifted. There is no more teacher recommendations or anything like that. You don't even need to be proficient or advanced on the CSTs to get in. Pretty much if you want it, you got it.

Reindeeralyn said...

Wouldn't that just lower the mean of the AP scores?

Mr. W said...

Bingo. It has lowered some of the scores. But you know how Walnut is, so even though the scores have dropped some they are still above the national averages. So no one really sees this as a problem.

You got out right in time :-)

Reindeeralyn said...

Hahah. The problem now is not getting out of college fast enough. Tuition keeps going up while the CSU Chancellor fills his pockets.

Mr. W said...

yeah something's not right there either.

we are being told we might have furlough days next year and yet the new superintendent got an extra $20,000 over our last superintendent.

Reindeeralyn said...

Yeah, it's ridiculous how the system works.